SOUTH Australia’s major bulk handler, Viterra, is planning to offer segregations for Alestar malt barley at its Ardrossan and Apamurra sites for the 2023-24 season.
Released across Australia by EPG Seeds, Alestar has gained malt accreditation from Barley Australia and is in growing demand by maltsters and brewers because of its high-quality malt profile.
Due to the increasing demand and strong growing performance of Alestar on the Yorke Peninsula and Murray Bridge areas in recent years, Viterra plans to offer the segregations at the two sites to support the malting barley, brewing industry and local growers.
Colin Smith from EPG Seeds has played a key role in the R&D program for Alestar and helping growers and their advisers to grow their first crops of the newer variety in southern and Western Australia.
“Alestar has performed well in the National Variety Trials over the past three years and in independent trials run by YP Ag in 2022,” Mr Smith said.
YP AG compared the performance of 14 different barley varieties at its Maitland trial site in 2022, ranking Alestar in the top three.
“Alestar is a domestic malt barley with medium maturity, like Commander.
“It is high yielding, has strong straw strength, excellent head retention, and is resistant to powdery
mildew, containing the mlo11 gene.
“It has produced consistently low screenings and shown good disease resistance.”
Mr Smith has been fielding interest and support from Australia’s main malting companies, such as Coopers Brewery, which has been doing its own malting trials with Alestar.
Coopers is Australia’s largest independent family-owned brewer, and plans to buy Alestar barley from growers this season after the success of their trial.
Coopers maltings manager Doug Stewart said the company recently hosted a group of growers from the Monarto Ag Bureau to its Regency Park facility in Adelaide.
“Several of these growers have been growing Alestar for some time and they are looking forward to delivering into the maltings this season,” Dr Stewart said.
Alestar is available nationally, and local stockists can be found by contacting EPG Seeds.
Source: EPG Seeds